Palm-lined, grey-sand Playa Matapalo enjoys the kind of wild beauty that characterizes Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast. Largely off the beaten beach path, this long flat beach has long attracted the surfer crowd with its strong riptides and two river mouth breaks. A couple sleepy hotels and beach bungalows offer surf-side accommodations, but walk a few minutes in either direction, and you’ll likely have the beach completely to yourself.
While Playa Matapalo’s strong currents and big waves mean it isn’t ideal for swimming, it is a wonderful beach for secluded sunbathing or for catching a sunset over the Pacific.
Playa Matapalo is located 16 miles (26 kilometers) south of Quepos.